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More vaping illnesses reported, many involving marijuana

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Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 17:46:58-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health officials are investigating more cases of a breathing illness associated with vaping.

While the cause remains unclear, officials said Friday that many reports involve e-cigarette products that contain THC, the mind-altering substance in marijuana.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday they are looking at 215 possible cases across 25 states. In addition to breathing difficulties and lung damage, some people have reported vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.

The CDC has not identified one common product, but the CDC and Food and Drug Administration warned the public not to buy vaping products off the street.

The FDA is analyzing the content of dozens of vaping samples collected by state health authorities investigating the illness.

Although the CDC has not identified one common product, the New York State Department of Health says their lab investigation has revealed high levels of vitamin E acetate may be a cause of vaping-associated respiratory illnesses.

The NYSDOH says vitamin E acetate is not found in NYS medical marijuana program-authorized vape samples.

The lab investigation has identified high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all of the cannabis samples that New York State’s Wadsworth Center has tested from patients from different parts of the state and from different brands of products. This vitamin E acetate is never found in NYS Medical Marijuana Program-authorized vape samples and is now the focus of the investigation of potential causes of vaping-associated respiratory illnesses. Wadsworth will continue to test all cannabis and nicotine vape product samples that we receive as the investigation continues.

Additional Information from NYSDOH:

  • None of the potential cases have reported using medical marijuana products sold in compliance with New York State law. At this time, there are no concerns over the safety of approved NYS medical marijuana products.
  • Medical marijuana products are approved by the Department and rigorously tested for contaminants, pesticides and concentration of cannabinoids, including, but not limited to THC and CBD.